Local “Hit Squad” member is fighting invasive species

2. ElizabethSalterInvasive species student on the job in the Mississippi Valley Watershed

Invasive species pose a growing threat to Ontario’s biodiversity and cause millions of dollars in damage annually. There are more invasive species in Ontario than anywhere else in Canada, so it is a good thing that the Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP) Hit Squad is working across the province again this summer to spread awareness about the impacts that invasive species are having on our environment, economy, and society. One member of the squad is located here in Carleton Place this summer.

Locally, Elizabeth Salter is an Invasive Species Community Outreach Liaison working with Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

“I’m looking forward to increasing awareness of invasive species in Mississippi Valley Watershed and informing the public on what they can do to help stop the spread,” says Salter.

The OFAH partners with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program. This program uses public education to prevent the introduction of new invasive species, and to stop the spread of those already here.

Over the course of the summer, the Invading Species Hit Squad, comprised of about 25 summer students, will monitor local lakes, waterways and forests, looking for zebra mussels, spiny water flea, round goby, giant hogweed, garlic mustard, and other invaders. They will also be engaging their community to increase awareness of invasive species. Funding is being provided by the federal government’s Canada Summer Jobs program.

The public is invited to contact Elizabeth Salter at 613-253-0006 or email her at monitoring@mvc.on.ca.

To report a sighting of an invasive species, or request information materials, call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, visit www.invadingspecies.com or EDDMapS.org/Ontario